THE RUSTY HOOK TAVERN BRINGS MODERN AMERICAN CUISINE TO POMPANO
All photography appearing in this post taken by Holli Lapes
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Pompano Beach, FL — For creative cuisine in a casual, yet chic setting, look no further than The Rusty Hook Tavern in Pompano Beach. Open since October, The Rusty Hook Tavern brings modern American cuisine and a laid-back atmosphere to the intracoastal waterway.
At its helm, you will find a trio of culinary powerhouses — Chef Ned Jaouhar, Kareem Lakchira and Andy Patton. The three originally met in 2007, while working at the celebrated Gordon Ramsey’s Cielo located at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. For four years, Lakchira ran the beverage program, Patton ran the front of the house and Chef ran the kitchen under Ramsey. Their success and Jaouhar’s talent led him to earn the honor of Best Chef of Palm Beach County by Best Chefs America in 2013. During this time, the trio knew they were a great team and in the back of their minds, they always imagined themselves opening up a place of their own. This became a reality, in February 2014, originally at Dixie Tracks, a cozy breakfast and lunch spot in
Fort Lauderdale and since October, at The Rusty Hook Tavern, where they serve dinner Tuesday through Sunday and brunch on the weekends.
“We wanted to create a place where everyone can come a couple times a week and enjoy exceptional food, service and beverage, but in a casual, relaxed environment and at a price point for everyone,” states Andy Patton, who runs the front of the house.
In the kitchen, you will find Chef Ned Jaouhar, who offers a menu of modern American cuisine with an international flair. The unique flavor combinations that Chef uses in his food, give us a look into his worldly upbringing. He was born in Senegal, spent his childhood in Paris, France, and moved to the United States as a teenager — all before graduating from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. The menu is separated into six sections — Nibbles & Bites, Starters, Farm to Table, Hand Helds, House Specialties and Add-Ons.
Start off with an order of the Pork Belly ($12) with spiced beluga lentils, kimchi and pomegranate bbq glaze. *Sage Suggests*
Deviled Eggs apple butter chutney
Blackened Swordfish Bites *Sage Suggests*
Blue Crab Cakes gazpacho, avocado cream
The Crispy Octopus ($15), a house favorite, served atop a chorizo, gigante bean and artichoke salad; or their Moroccan Meatballs ($7) with asiago focaccia and harissa tomato sauce.
Sage Says: Word has it, the 4 hour octopus is the most popular among visitors. The restaurant revamped the menu a couple months ago to include more fish options.
For those looking to get their greens, the Crispy Chicken Schnitzel ($18) with mozzarella, salami and a mustard vinaigrette and the Firecracker Ahi Tuna Salad ($19) with shredded cabbage, tomatoes, mango salsa, mandarin and Thai peanut dressing will satisfy your cravings.
Main entrées range from sandwiches or “hand helds” to the larger house specialties. Popular dishes include the Cheetos Crusted Catch of the Day ($16) served with pickled tomato, kimchi, smokey chipotle and a special house seasoning; the Surf & Turf ($29) made with porcini crusted tuna, braised oxtail, whipped potato and tempura onions; and the Island Spiced Swordfish ($23) with lemongrass rice, clams and a spicy coconut ginger sauce.
Spicy Pork Rigatoni garlic, tomato, lemon, broccoli rabe *Sage Suggests*
Kareem Lakchira runs the beverage program at The Rusty Hook Tavern, where he’s been known to mix up some of the best cocktails in town. Enjoy a selection of boutique wines, locally brewed draft beer or one of Lakchira’s signature cocktails, oftentimes using his house-made infusions, bitters and/or syrups. Standouts include the Thai Basil Martini, a combination of Svedka Clementine, Thai basil and grapefruit; Beer and Honey, made with Grand Marnier, house made honey clove syrup and Blue Moon; and the Johnny Be Good with Johnny Walker Black, cherry herring, sweet vermouth and ginger.
Sage Says: You DO NOT want to miss out on the cocktails during your visit to the Rusty Hook, they are exceptional. The Thai Basil Martini may just be my favorite cocktail, EVER!
Happy Hour is available Tuesday through Sunday from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. in the bar and lounge areas and offers cocktails and featured wines for $5, and specially priced bar bites.
In addition to the regular dinner service, a variety of happenings take place at the restaurant including a weekend brunch available on Saturdays and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Other offerings include Bucket Bake Tuesdays featuring their signature clam bake; Wine Dine Wednesdays where bottles are half price and there is no corkage fee; and live entertainment from 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. on Thursday evenings.
Sage Advice: Show up for brunch between 10 and 11am to avoid the wait!
The Rusty Hook Tavern is located at 125 North Riverside Drive in Pompano Beach (at the old Joe’s Riverside Grille location). Dinner is served from 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. on Tuesday-Saturday and from 5:00-9:00 p.m. on Sunday. Reservations can be made through Seat Me (https://www.seatme.yelp.com/r/rusty-hook-tavern/) or by calling the restaurant at (954) 941-2499. Free parking is available in the 2 lots adjacent to the restaurant and metered parking is available across the street.
Here is what I have my eyes on to try during my next visit: House made Pretzel Sticks, Graham Cracker Calamari, Cajun Ceasar, Cheetos Crusted Catch
Katy Lynch, Savor Tonight